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tv   MSNBC Live  MSNBC  September 21, 2013 2:00pm-4:00pm EDT

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the most basic constitutional duty congress has is passing a budget. but if it doesn't pass one before september 30th, a week from monday, the government will shut down. >> good afternoon. i'm mara schiavocampo in for craig melvin. another manufactured crisis courtesy of congress. from shutting down the government to defaulting on the
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nation's debt. what it means for hundreds of thousands of working americans. new details on the investigation into the navy yard shooting. what was the motivation? we're live in washington. plus, securing a chemical weapons stockpile. it's a challenging effort even here in the u.s. so can we expect quick action in syria? we'll take you to one of the deadliest places on earth right in america's heartland. and is democracy alive again? the u.s. hasn't talked with iran since the hostage crisis in 1979. that could change as soon as next week. we'll talk live with a man who personally negotiated with iran for years. but we begin with developing news out of kenya. an investigation is under way to find out who is responsible for an apparent terrorist attack at a luxury mall in nairobi. at this hour, the kenyan government says as many as 11 people have been killed and at least 40 others wounded in the
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horrific attack this afternoon in kenya's largest city. the u.s. state department says it has a report of american citizens injured in that attack. we'll have a live report from the scene in just a few minutes. but first, let's get to nbc news white house correspondent, kristen welker, for more on that. what does the administration know about this attack? >> reporter: the state department is condemning this violence in the strongest terms. deputy spokesperson marie harf putting out a statement saying the obama administration is monitoring developments at the scene. they say there are as many as ten gunmen. they also say, as you pointed out, that some americans may have been injured in this attack. so the embassy there is working with local authorities to try to figure out exactly who may have been involved. we are also told that if american citizens are among those who were killed, you would then see u.s. authorities get involved in this investigation moving forward. we know that president obama has
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been updated about the situation as well. again, the administration condemning the violence and also continuing to monitor the evo e evolving situation there. >> we'll continue monitoring from our end as well. we have a live report later in the show. with you, i want to switch gears to the president and the congress. nine days to avoid a government shutdown. the president and john boehner spoke by phone last night. where do things stand right now? >> reporter: nothing was accomplished during that phone call last night. to bring everyone up to date, the republican-controlled house passed a measure that would fund the government but would do so by defunding the president's health care law. that bill now goes to the senate where it has absolutely no chance of passing. essentially what we expect to happen is that you will see the senate take out the part of that bill that would defund the president's health care law and essentially send a bill back to the house that would just extend funding for the government.
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it would be what's called a clean bill. what will the house do next? that's the big question. will house speaker john boehner put that bill on the floor? he could. that would certainly wrangle a lot of members of his party, like the tea party members. this is politically perilous for everyone involved but particularly republicans. they are sharply divided over this strategy. you have the more conservative members, the tea party members, really digging in their heels about this issue of defunding the president's health care law. and then you have the establishment republicans saying this is essentially political suicide. one member of congress calling this a kamikaze mission. meanwhile, while all of this is going on, the clock is ticking down, just nine more days until the government shuts down. if that does happen, we know that all essential personnel would stay on the job, but some
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non-essential personnel would be furloughed. that could be tens of thousands of workers. economists warn that could negatively have an impact on the overall economy. >> kristen welker live from the white house, we'll check back in with you later today. with both parties digging in their heels, just nine days from a possible government shutdown, what's behind the politicking? let's bring in reuters columnist david rode, lynn sweet and tamara drought. thank you all for being here this afternoon. >> thank you. >> lynn, i want to start with you. the president in his weekly address this morning is keeping the pressure on congress. let's take a listen. >> we're running out of time to fix this. but we could fix it tomorrow. both houses of congress can take a simple vote to pay our bills on time, then work together to pass a budget on time. then we can declare an end to governing by crisis and govern
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responsibly. >> lynn, do you think the president can effectively use the bully pulpit here to get this done? >> not going to be done full budget by september 30th. even in this best case, this clean bill that kristen was talking about would only keep government open until mid december. so this is the big kick the can way of operating government that no one likes. but it's because congress keeps putting off these big decisions. i think what has to happen first is that the republican civil war has to first be settled a little more before it's clear over what pressure obama has in forcing boehner to take a vote on a bill. because whatever republicans who voted for that bill friday thought, it's not ever going to become law. >> and, david, after yesterday's house vote, we saw republicans doing some kind of celebrating. i want to take a quick listen. we'll talk on the other end.
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>> our message to the united states senate is real simple -- the american people don't want the government shut down and they don't want obama care. >> isn't this bill supposed to be about funding the government not about obama care? how did we get to the point where they're now inextricably linked? >> it's become such a major issue for the far right of the republican party that they're taking this gamble. but i think it's crucial that the white house and democrats aggressively sell obama care. these ads coming out, total of like $1 billion worth of advertising defending and attacking obama care, the implementation of this is crucial. whatever happens with the budget fight on october 1st, if the president sits back and thinks that, oh, the whole country is going to think these are crazy allegations, they're making a huge mistake. people are nervous about obama care. >> but that seems to have been their strategy from the beginning. in a lot of ways, they have totally ceded the communication message on this.
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is that where they went wrong? that they weren't aggressive enough in countering some of the negative reports that we were hearing about the affordable care act? >> i think they've been too passive. this is a critical time right now. the republicans are saying this is armageddon, this is going to end health care as we know it. companies are going to shut down. people won't have health insurance. you have to counter that narrative and you have to make sure the implementation actually -- >> go ahead quickly. >> i want to jump in and make a point. there's a confluence of events here so people understand the time line. this is maybe bad planning by the obama white house. october 1 is the beginning of the new fiscal year. that's why we're having the budget fight. it is also the same date that these insurance exchanges are going to be up and running. and that's why there's such a big spotlight on obama care. it's coming at the white house through a few ways. >> i wanted to ask tamara about october 1st and the opening up of this marketplace for people to buy their insurance.
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that starts in just a few days. a lot of the spending on that has already been done. is any short-term government shutdown going to have any real effect on the implementation of obama care anyway? >> it's very unlikely because as you say, a lot of the spending has already been in place. the exchanges are going to be up and running. this is sort of a road to nowhere strategy. the reality is -- i agree with you, david, that it needs to be settled much more to the american people. but a lot of people are already getting benefits from obama care. most women in this country now can get free birth control thanks to obama care. young people can stay on their parents' plans. they now have health insurance options that they didn't have before. there's lots of benefits out there that people are already experiencing. i think it's a mistake to think that the american public is really opposed to this going forward. >> i do have to agree with david, though, i think we haven't heard enough of that message coming from the white house. >> absolutely. >> lynn, i want to ask you -- the senate will take up the house bill next week.
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democrats are expected to have the votes to strip the obama care defunding provision. then the bill goes back to the house with new pressure on republican leadership since now they'll be even closer to that shutdown deadline. is there a path to victory here for the gop? what is their plan to make this work in their favor? >> well, each day, they get boxed in a little more. remember, to let the pressure off, congress could pass a very one or two-day extension if it seems a deal there. one big decision that house speaker boehner has to make is whether to allow an up-or-down vote on what will be a stripped-down continuing resolution without the obama care defunding in it. if he does that, it could pass. but mainly with democratic votes because you have so many of them, you would only need 30 or 40 republicans. that's a big threshold decision for him to make in the coming days whether he will allow that vote or if they push instead of defund, if they send it back to
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the senate for delay -- there's still a few more hands to play out here. >> david, you write that the speaker is essentially challenging tea party lawmakers saying, boehner's strategy is brilliant because once senator cruz et al. fail, the tea party influence will wane and boehner can start to forge a compromise -- >> i think lynn actually said that. >> i'm sorry. feel free to weigh in. >> i agree with her. it is a possibility to finally discredit the tea party senators, ted cruz and others and rand paul who say, we have to take this extreme position. and this could be an effort by the mainstream republicans to kind of show that they are essentially paper tigers. >> i want to get to tamara before we run out of time. are we focusing on the wrong issues? should we be focusing on the debt ceiling more so than funding obama care? a lot of people think that's what the big problem coming down
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the pike is. >> i think we're going to come up against yet another crisis. i think if we've learned anything it's that this congress, particularly the republicans in congress, don't know how to deal with not getting their way. they've taken 42 votes to say they want to defund obama care. it's time for them to -- my 6-year-old is better at handling not getting her way than this republican congress. it's really time to come to the table and govern. we cannot afford another showdown over the debt ceiling. >> lynn, i want to ask you quickly in terms of making time to actually govern, seems so much work has been spent on obstructionism as opposed to actually crafting legislation which is in theory what they're supposed to be doing in congress. how did we get to this point? >> we get to this point because congress lives on deadlines and on brinksmanship. and they don't usually work as much as we have to who show up every day. next week, the house -- >> imagine that. >> the house was supposed to be on another break next week after just coming back from their
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summer recess september 9th. the good thing is, if you think it's better for the house to be at work in washington, at least they'll be there. but in more seriousness, like reporters, i think lawmakers only act when they feel they have a deadline looming. >> like reporters. thanks so much. david, lynn and tamara, thank you all for your time this afternoon. >> thank you. investigators are still trying to piece together a possible motive for washington navy yard gunman aaron alexis. 12 people were killed and eight others injured in the shooting monday morning. nbc news national investigative correspondent michael isikoff has been following this investigation very closely and joins us live from washington. michael, good afternoon. >> reporter: good afternoon. >> where do authorities stand right now on identifying a possible motive in this shooting? >> reporter: no real breakthrough what is emerging more and more is this portrait of somebody who is literally unraveling in the weeks before the rampage. we're learning more and more
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about that starting in the month in august when he's working for this subcontracting firm, the experts, on a job in newport, rhode island. and the company is concerned enough that they actually call the hotel where he's staying and say they're going to bring him home. they're concerned he's unstable. there's a hotel log reflecting that. they apparently call his mother and express concerns about him. this gets relayed to aaron alexis and he expresses concerns about this to a friend. so we might see the seed of a possible motive there in that the company is thinking of yanking him off his job. now, the fact is they didn't. and more and perhaps now when we learn even more what happened after that, it seems an inexplicable decision because this is when he starts going to the hospital reporting he's hearing voices, vibrations coming from a microwave.
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he goes to a v.a. hospital and complains he can't sleep. all of this is happening in the weeks before the rampage. and it's worth noting that it was just exactly one week ago today, september 14th, that transferred to washington. he goes to the gun shop in lorton, virginia, and buys the shotgun he used in the rampage. >> based on what we know, michael, when he made that purchase, he bought that firearm legally. how was he able to get through the background check process? >> reporter: first of all, there's nothing in the gun law ps that would have stopped him from buying that gun. there's multiple arrests but no convictions. the laws are most restrictive on handguns and semiautomatic assault rifles. he was buying a shotgun. he listed his residence as ft.
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worth, texas. he could not have bought a handgun that day in the state of virginia because of federal law. he would have had to have picked it up in the state of his residence but he could buy the shotgun. the real question on background checks relates to the clearances he got. we now know the company that did the original secret background check on him for his secret clearance in 2007 was usis, the prime outside contractor in this. it's the same company that did the background check in edward snowden. it's under investigation by federal authorities and by the senate. there are a lot of questions about how adequate and thorough these background checks are. in the case of alexis, we know he had this prior arrest before he got the clearance. but no conviction. so still a lot of questions about how these background -- the background check was done but not clear if there was anything in his past that could
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have triggered the alarm that would have prevented him from getting that security clearance which he had for ten years. >> nbc's michael isikoff with the very latest, thanks so much for that. coming up next, clues to the chaos. the d.c. navy yard shooter sought help for paranoia, hallucinations and insomnia but the system seemed to fail him. and we'll ask this congressman whether there's any solution to epidemic of gun violence. political june keys may remember the day they had to look up the word "is." that's in our flashback, coming up. ♪ and surviving the streets, a gifted young musician is out with a special song for kids dealing with gun violence. we'll hear some of his brand-new single coming up. it starts with something little, like taking a first step. and then another. and another. and if you do it. and your friends do it.
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one month before he shot and killed 12 people at the u.s. navy yard monday, aaron alexis told police in newport, rhode island, that he heard voices speaking to him through the walls of his hotel room and felt vibrations in his body. police turned the case over to the local navy station in newport but there's no evidence the report was passed on. joining me is democrat rhode island congressman david sisilini. you've been an outspoken advocate against illegal guns. but as far as we know right now, alexis obtained his weapons perfectly legally. what kind of legislation could have averted this tragedy? >> there's current pending legislation that would have fixed the broken background check system.
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it would make sure that every single sale of a firearm is subject to a background check so that all of the private sales, gun show sales which currently do not go through the background check system, that every sale of a firearm go through a background check. the second part is to fix the broken system, to be sure all of the information is inputted into the system so that it's accurate so people that are criminals and people with mental i'llness can't purchase one. the first thing is to be sure all gun sales are subjected to a background check. and be sure that that system is comprehensive is that all the information is reported certainly for people who have been ajute kated mentally ill. and hwe have to figure out how o collect information for people who have serious mental illness who may not have been --
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>> that last point that you mentioned would have been what would have been applicable here. a court had not declared alexis mentally unfit. but he showed signs of mental illness. the navy yard shooting hardly seemed to move the needle at all in the gun control debate in washington. even senator joe manchin who authored a gun control bill after the newtown shooting said he would not introduce it. a lot of people thought newtown would be the final straw because children were slaughtered. but if that didn't move the needle, what will? >> it is incredibly frustrating when you think we have another mass shooting with innocent lives taken. what will it take to force congress to take some action? you can have strong disagreements about the second amendment. but i hope everyone agrees that criminals and people that are seriously mentally ill should not be able to buy a firearm.
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if we can focus on that part of the system, we can protect against the kind of slaughter we just saw. but the nra is a very powerful lobby in washington. this is one of the issues that the american people overwhelmingly support, commonsense gun safety legislation. i hope after this most recent shooting, there will be an interest to move this commonsense legislation forward that will fix that part of it. people who are seriously mentally ill or people with criminal records shouldn't be able to walk into a gun store and buy a gun. we ought to all agree on that and figure out how do we fix the system to prevent that from happening? there's legislation to do it. i hope this most recent event is going to cause my colleagues to take another look at this issue and move forward in a responsible way. >> congressman, thank you so much for your time this afternoon, sir. >> my pleasure, thank you. up next, the heart-warming moment between a president and his grandchild. and how this presidential candidate is losing count of his grandchildren. you're watching msnbc. [ woman ] if you have the audacity to believe
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upgrade to the new droid ultra by motorola with zero down payment. what could melt a president's heart more than a laughing baby? former president bush was recently caught on home video making five-month-old granddaughter mila laugh for the first time. what a doll she is. into the political playground we go. congratulations to mitt romney who's a grandfather once again. but he can't seem to keep track. he tweeted this photo of the bouncing baby boy, hailing him as number 22. problem is, newly adopted baby is actually romney's 23rd grandchild. and would she stand by her man? senator rand paul is profiled as a potential white house candidate for 2016. but paul's wife doesn't seem sold on pennsylvania avenue.
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described by the article as paul's, quote, secret asset, she says campaigns today aim for character assassination and invest too heavily in exposing the pitfalls of the candidate and their family. anmaking her case with caviar. this congresswoman relied on some choice props to push for food stamp spending on the house floor earlier this week. she whipped out steak, vodka and caviar at the podium to shed light on luxuries that some of her colleagues deem, quote, necessary. hopefully they'll think twice next time. neil and buzz: for teaching us that you can't create the future... by clinging to the past. and with that: you're history. instead of looking behind... delta is looking beyond. 80 thousand of us investing billions... in everything from the best experiences below... to the finest comforts above. we're not simply saluting history... we're making it.
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[ male announcer ] campbell's homestyle soup with farm grown veggies. just like yours. huh. [ male announcer ] and roasted white meat chicken. just like yours. [ male announcer ] you'll think it's homemade. i love this show. [ male announcer ] try campbell's homestyle soup. amazing video out of mexico where flooding of biblical proportions is causing scenes that look like the days of noah's ark. many spots there are still under water after a week of storms, including a zoo on the country's west coast. giraffes, zebras and other animals ended up wading and in some cases swimming through the floodwaters.
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according to local media, 12 of the animals, unfortunately, died in that deluge. i'm mara schiavocampo in for craig melvin. here's a quick look at the other top stories making news now. so far, that flooding in mexico has killed at least 97 people. 50,000 have been evacuated from their homes and it's estimated more than 1 million people have been affected by that severe weather. meanwhile, new concerns today on colorado's devastating floodwaters. officials there are warning they might be toxic. they're telling people to stay away from the flooding, especially in weld county, where pollution from oil and gas drilling may have poisoned the water. in larimer county, at least 80 people are still unaccounted for. another record for baseball star alex rodriguez, a-rod hit his 24th career grand slam last night at yankee stadium. he now has more grand slams than any other player in major league history. the previous record holder, yankees legend lou gehrig.
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back to the developing news we're following out of kenya's capital, nairobi. earlier today, gunmen opened fire in a shopping mall, throwing what could have been a grenade at an upscale mall where a children's event was under way. officials say 11 people have been killed and 40 wounded. at this hour, president obama has been briefed and the state department says it has a report of american citizens injured in that attack. nbc's reporter is in london with more. what are you hearing about what might be responsible for this or who is being targeted in this attack? >> reporter: hi, mara. in the last half hour, the militant islamic group in neighboring somalia has claimed responsibility for the attack. al shabaab saying it is time to shift the battleground to kenya. let me explain the contest of that comment. al shabaab controls vast parts
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of somalia. two years ago, they sent troops to fight islamic insurgents there. now it looks like we're seeing the retaliation and its deadly consequences. thinking about who was being targeted, look at the location. this is a mall in an upscale part of nairobi, popular with wealthy kenyans and western expatriates. the state department said in a statement they have reports of american citizens injured in the attack and they say the u.s. embassy is actively reaching out to provide assistance. there are also reports of four israelis with light wounds. mara? >> duncan, thanks so much for that update. right now, international inspectors are reviewing syria's inventory of chemical weapons. u.s. officials are reportedly pleasantly surprised the syrian government met today's deadline by submitting that information. syria agreed to destroy the weapons under a u.s./russian proposal. but getting rid of chemical
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weapons is a lot easier said than done. here in the u.s., destroying our own stockpile has taken 40 years, $40 billion and the job still isn't done. cnbc's scott cohen has more from a former disposal site in hillsdale, indiana. >> reporter: mara, we're standing in the middle of what was once one of the deadliest places on earth. this is the former home of the newport chemical depot in hillsdale, indiana, the primary site for the manufacture and storage of one of the deadliest chemical weapons, a single drop can kill an adult in a matter of minutes. these bunkers were built after 9/11 to give it some extra security. we actually visited this site back in 1997. at the time, you had to wear a gas mask and carry an injection kit just in case. it would take another ten years for them to neutralize all of the thousand tons of the gas that were stored here and another three years beyond that to clean up the site where they're marketing as an
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industrial park. the bunkers are sold for cheap and they promise it's clean. this is a fraction of the u.s. chemical weapons arsenal. some 3,000 tons remain at sites in colorado and kentucky. but this site, they say, is a bit of a cautionary tale as you look at getting rid of chemical weapons in syria because of the process that it took, but the officials here say that they hope they also offer some lessons for doing it safely. i'm scott cohen in hillsdale, indiana. back to you. >> thanks so much for that. iran is on a public relations offensive here in the u.s. just days before world leaders address the united nations general assembly. as "the washington post" put it, the bu at the u.n. is all about iran's president, hassan rouhani. let's bring in a former state department official who negotiated with iran during the 1980s. he's also the author of "taking on iran, strength, diplomacy and
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the iranian threat." thank you for being here this afternoon. >> pleasure. >> the new iranian president, hassan rouhani, has launched a charm offensive since being elected. but are there any concessions he's willing to make? >> we don't know of any. and this is very much like what khamenei after he got elected in '97 and he wowed president clinton with his offer to be friendly with the united states, and rouhani is doing the same things, saying all the same things. we never wanted a nuclear weapon to begin with, we should be able to make a deal. >> knowing this history, how should the obama white house proceed in their interactions with him? >> it's ironic. and very important to understand this properly, that was an opportunity for the united states. rouhani is really an opportunity for the united states. and responding positively to
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rouhani would be the right thing. but at the same time, the president has to remember what he said was so important in syria. it was his threat of the use of force, his strength that led the russians and the syrians to get together and give him what he needed to get out of that situation. he must keep the pressure on iran. he must not suspend sanctions until they really do things. and he must ask them particularly why is the irgc intervening in syria? why are they on a war against the sunnis which to me is genocide, it's clearly a genocidal war that's going on. and they are training people outside of tehran to go into syria and kill sunni muslims. i think if the president does what he said he did with syria and what worked, keep the treasury on the irgc, the iranian revolutionary guard corps and at the same time respond positively to rouhani, i
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think he will give rouhani more of an opportunity to make a deal with the united states. >> rouhani's new visibility in the u.s. began earlier in the u.s. when he sat down with ann curry in tehran for an exclusive interview. ann asked him about iran's nuclear intentions. let's take a listen to his answers. >> can you say that iran will not build a nuclear weapon under any circumstances whatsoever? >> translator: the answer to this question is quite obvious. we have time and again said that under no circumstances would we seek any weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons. nor will we ever. >> sir, what do you make of that answer? >> well, he's right. time and again they've said it. but they've lied. they've hidden what they're doing. they are making much more enriched uranium than they could possibly need for any tangible or relevant objective.
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they're building missiles that can deliver nuclear weapons. they had a nuclear weapon operation of some kind going on that the u.n. asked to inspect and they refused the inspection. and in fact have jackhammered the entire area and covered it up. obviously rouhani knows what's going on. he's a very much of a powerful insider. he was the secretary of their supreme national council for many years. so dealing with a person who has that kind of authority and background is very important. it's the right opportunity. but let's not kid ourselves. we know what iran's been doing and we have to be tough with rouhani and give him the opportunity to actually build the bridges if he really wants to do it. >> do you expect that president obama and rouhani will meet at the u.n. this week? >> well, that's the kind of dance that the press and the governments always sort of get
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going. clinton went to listen to kahatami make his speech. clinton was supposed to meet him in the hallway at the u.n. clinton was avoided and clinton looked silly. this is not the way in which international diplomacy ought to be conducted. of course the president will be happy to shake hands with rouhani. but the president knows that that doesn't mean anything. what matters is, are they going to show the international community that they are not headed toward the capacities to build a nuclear weapon? and they need to do a lot of real things on the ground in order to show that, not just make speeches? >> thanks so much for your time. >> pleasure. time to flash back now to
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this day in 1998 when americans found themselves questioning the meaning of the word "is." that's all thanks to president bill clinton, of course, and his grand jury testimony. it was publicly broadcast for the first time. it was his answer to this particular question from prosecutors -- >> there was no sex of any kind in any manner, shape or form with president clinton was on utterly false statement, is that correct? >> it depends upon what the meaning of the word "is" is. if it means is and never has been, that's one thing. if it means there is none, that was a completely true statement. >> 15 years later, president clinton is riding a wave of popularity. according to a new nbc news/"wall street journal" poll,
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his favorability rating stands at 54%. with the spark cash card from capital one... boris earns unlimited rewards for his small business. can i get the smith contract, please? thank you. that's three new paper shredders. [ boris ] put 'em on my spark card. [ garth ] boris' small business earns 2% cash back on every purchase every day. great businesses deserve unlimited rewards. read back the chicken's testimony, please. "buk, buk, bukka!" [ male announcer ] get the spark business card from capital one and earn unlimited rewards. choose 2% cash back or double miles on every purchase every day. told you i'd get half. what's in your wallet? more is better. that's why we designed the all-new nissan versa note, with more technology, to get you into, and out of, tight spots. and more space so that you always have your favorite stuff. and just for good measure, an incredibly efficient 40 mpg highway. so that when you're doing more, you're spending less.
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and definitely not with our health. innovations that work for you. that's health in numbers. unitedhealthcare. just one night after 13 people including a 3-year-old were shot in chicago, nbc affiliate wmaq reports at least 11 people were shot overnight. this is cell phone video from an nbc producer at the scene just hours before those shootings, chicago mayor rahm emanuel spoke at a press conference concerning thursday's shootings. he made a passionate plea that the violence must stop. >> we cannot allow children in the city of chicago and we will not allow children in the city of chicago to have their youthfulness, their optimism, their hope taken from them. >> nbc's kevin tibble tells us
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about two families and a search to the end of the violence. >> reporter: in chicago's back yard neighborhoods, the kids are back outdoors. some even here at cornell square spot, the very spot where gunshots shattered the evening quiet. >> illegal guns, illegal guns drive violence. >> reporter: and in spite of increased police efforts to chase gangs from the streets, innocent children continue to get caught in the crossfire. on thursday night, one of the victims, 3 years old. this child was shot in the face. >> how do you shoot a 3-year-old in the face with an army gun? >> it needs to stop. needs to stop. >> reporter: it's something every parent can identify with, the local park, clean, safe place to send the kids. here in chicago, 13 people were shot in this one. 15-year-old hideya pendleton was
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gunned down earlier this year. but it's proving difficult. many kids are escorted safely across gang lines just to get to school. and police are visible and on foot. but gangs are using heavy fi firepower. >> military-type weapons belong on a battlefield. >> reporter: you don't feel defeated after what happened in this park? >> no, no. the only thing -- the only way that i'm defeated is if i quit. and i'm not going to quit. >> reporter: for parents who have lost children to guns, quitting simply cannot be an option. kevin tibbles, nbc news, chicago. over in denmark, a new program to promote employee health or so they say. a danish telecom company says workers are allowed to take smoke breaks but it's going to cost them. each cigarette break costs an
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employee 15 minutes of work time. they either have to stay 15 minutes longer or accept a 15-minute reduction in pay or earned overtime. you're watching msnbc. [ sneezes, coughs ] i've got a big date, but my sinuses are acting up. it's time for advil cold and sinus. [ male announcer ] truth is that won't relieve all your symptoms. new alka seltzer plus-d relieves more sinus symptoms than any other behind the counter liquid gel. oh, what a relief it is.
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♪ ♪ i hope it doesn't take me out before i reach my destiny ♪ talk about pipes. just 15 years old, his name is one you don't want to forget, ahsan's album comes out later this month packed with serious vocals but a serious message about gun violence. and here with us now, ahsan. thanks for being here this afternoon. >> thank you. happy to be here. >> your new single "under." there are some lyrics i want to read. these city streets have turned this baby face into stone.
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don't let the city get me, don't let the bullets hit me. what made you want to sing about something like this? >> right now, my city is really, really bad right now. >> your city is newark, new jersey? >> yes, newark, new jersey. it's terrible. everyone's getting killed. and about the chicago thing, for all the people -- if you want me to come there, chicago, i could really perform for you. my new single "under". >> what effect do you hope that this song will have on people? music is a unique way to reach people and to touch them. what do you hope people take away from this? >> i want everyone to feel how i feel. i just want everybody to feel how i feel. >> tell me how you feel. when you were singing that, how do you feel? >> i feel like i want to get out of the hood, do stuff for my mom, just get out of the hood. that's where i come from. but it's really not a good place to be. >> a lot of times we have these
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conversations about gun violence, it's people who never really have to deal with the threat of gun violence. they don't live in those communities that are heavily affected, although as we saw in newtown, it can affect anyone. but it's not a daily concern for a lot of people. what would you say to people who don't live in those communities? what's it like to have to face the threat of gun violence, of getting shot for no reason, on a daily basis? >> well, it's not fun. you have to stay in the house. just stay in the house. that's my advice to you guys. >> wow. i want to talk a little bit about what you have coming up. you're touring with justin timberlake, i hear coming up. how jealous am i. you have to be excited about that. what do you have coming down the pike with your album coming out, with your tours? what's next for you? >> i'm going on tour in like a month. and justin timberlake, that thing is coming up. >> have you met j.t. yet? >> no, not yet. ♪ >> i was hoping you'd get some
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singing in while you were here. i heard that stevie wonder surprised you while you were at the recording studio. tell me about that. >> that was mind-blowing. i didn't know he was coming. so it was like a big surprise. i wanted to fall out. but it's a recording session, you can't do that. you have to sing. >> what did you do? what was your reaction? >> speechless, basically. i just wanted a hug. that's all. >> did you get a hug out of it? >> yeah. when i was singing -- i was singing his song actually. >> which song was it? >> "ribbons in the sky." i had to feel if that was really him. >> that's terrific. we wish you all the best. thank you for being here. >> thank you. up next, again and again, the federal government could shut down in just nine days. congress could avoid the shutdown, but will they?
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and the u.s. is the world's leading food provider. but millions of working americans rely on food stamps. how much tax money should go to this program? we'll talk with one recipient on how proposed cuts will impact her every single day. i remember the day my doctor said i had diabetes.
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♪ break through, man, it doesn't matter who you're talking to ♪ [ male announcer ] completely redesigned for whatever you love to do. the all-new nissan versa note. your door to more. ♪ i am not going to allow anyone to harm this country's reputation. i'm not going to allow them to inflict economic pain on millions of our people just so they could make an ideological point. >> we have a victory today for the american people. and frankly we also had a victory for common sense. >> good afternoon. thanks for staying with us. i'm mara schiavocampo in for craig melvin. the job of congress is to fund the government every year. it says so in the constitution. and now republicans are toying with that assignment. how far will they go? new details on the navy yard
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shooting investigation. what was the motivation and could it have been prevented? we'll talk live with a lawmaker who was at the scene throughout and wants answers. i won't say i'd starve to death but, boy, would i be in trouble. >> home economics, the house voted to take food stamps from millions of americans. what the cuts would mean for actual recipients. and from penpals to speaking terms. how nearly four decades of silence between the u.s. and iran could end as soon as next week. we begin, though, with developing news out of kenya where at least 11 people were killed after an apparent terrorist attack earlier today. police there say gunmen used grenades and opened fire at a mall in nairobi while a children's day event was under way. the u.s. state department says american citizens have been injured in the attack. president obama and the fbi are monitoring this situation. nbc news white house correspondent kristen welker joins us live now from the white house with more. kristen, what has the
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administration's response been to what's happened in nairobi? >> reporter: first of all, the state department, the obama administration condemning this violence in the strongest terms, sending out their condolences to the families of those affected. state department officials saying they are in contact with local officials in nairobi about this ongoing, evolving situation. they believe that there are about ten gunmen, as many as 26 people have been killed and as many as 50 people have been injured. that's according to local officials there. the state department says. and they believe some of those injured may be americans, as you just pointed out. the state department is trying to work with local officials there to determine exactly who was injured, who has been killed now, all of this going on while al shabaab, the al qaeda-linked group based in somalia, sent out a tweet claiming responsibility for this attack saying that it is retaliation for kenya
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engaging militarily in somalia. the state department hasn't confirmed that that is the case. but they have said that this appears to be a terrorist attack. so the obama administration continues to monitor this ongoing situation throughout the afternoon. mara? >> switching gears back now to washington and the impending government shutdown. what is the president doing this weekend to try to avert this crisis? >> reporter: we know that there will likely be communications between the white house and capitol hill as the weekend goes on. we know that last night, president obama placed calls to house speaker john boehner. minority leader nancy pelosi, he basically warned the house speaker that he is not going to negotiate over the debt limit. of course, that is one of two fiscal fights that the white house and capitol hill are currently engaged in. the other one is, of course, the continuing resolution, which funds the government. that runs out in nine days, both sides really digging in their heels. and just to recap where that battle stands right now, on friday, the republican-controlled house passed a bill that would
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continue to fund the government for the next three months but would also defund the president's health care law. this, of course, has no chance of passing through the democratically controlled senate. so there's really a standoff right now. what we expect to happen is the senate will likely take out the part of that bill that would defund the president's health care law, send it back to the house and then house speaker john boehner would have to decide whether or not he would hold a vote on that piece of legislation or if he would try to amend that piece of legislation for a little bit of a preview, one source tells me, do not expect the house speaker to just bring whatever the senate passes to the house floor. so it appears as though these two sides are digging in their heels and will continue to dig in their heels over this issue of the president's health care law. this is politically perilous for everyone involved. mostly for republicans because this strategy is really dividing the republican party. >> we'll certainly be keeping an eye on this top political story. kristen welker live from the white house, thanks so much.
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with more now on how hour nation's capital would be affected by a government shutdown, i'm joined by representative eleanor norton holmes. i want to ask you about the vote in the house yesterday. government shutdown is a very real possibility. you spoke on the floor of the house yesterday. i want to play that. >> the only thing worse than closing down the united states government is closing down an innocent bystander with not a dime in this fight, the capital city of the united states, free the budget of the district of columbia. don't close down the nation's capital. >> what do you think the direct effect would be on d.c. if the government shuts down and what kind of preparations have you put into place? >> well, of course you see the madness. the country now is thinking about the closing down of the country or the government of the
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country and i have two things to think about because the district's budget, $8 billion that we raise in this city by ourselves has to come to congress before we can spend a dime of it. since congress hasn't passed any of its appropriations, the district of columbia is stuck there. what is happening now is that the mayor of the district of columbia is engaged in exactly what the agencies, the federal agencies are doing. and that is, contingency preparations for a possible shutdown. the last time that occurred in 2011, it cost the city $131,000 and 3,000 hours. that's money down the drain but we had to do it because we weren't sure whether there would be a shutdown. when newt gingrich was the speaker of the house, he recognized that -- and by the way, the government shut down
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several times under gingrich but he worked with me to keep the district of columbia open because therein lies the services that go to everybody, not just residents of the district of columbia, of course, but the federal agencies and the embassies and the like. >> i'd like to turn now to the navy yard shooting last week. back in january following the newtown shooting, d.c.'s mayor, vincent gray, talked to "the washington post" saying, quote, we don't have a fool-proof system but it's hard for me to envision it happening in the district of columbia given the constraints that people have and would have to overcome to be able to pull that off. you called washington the safest city in the united states. do you still believe that that's true? >> well, i certainly wasn't talking about hometown washington. i was talking about the security of official washington that has been put up since 9/11. and that has made this the
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safest city in security terms in the united states and probably in the world. but you see that even with that all that's gone into it, billions of dollars. a man was able to get into the navy yard with a sawed-off shotgun and kill 12 people, one of them a district resident, arthur daniels. so we see that there's got to be something wrong with the security clearances. there doesn't seem to be as much wrong with the security. and there's a difference between those two things. >> i just want to ask you quickly about an event that's taking place tonight. the president is speaking at a dinner for the congressional black caucus of which you're a member. what are the issues you want to hear him address tonight? >>. >> well, the black caucus wants to hear the president address how he's going to -- in the remaining years of his term -- close what is now a widening gap
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between the poor and the middle class and the very rich. we want to hear that economic message. we also want to hear a voting rights message because the voting rights act was taken down by the supreme court. and we need his help to get it reinstated. there really are a number of different issues that we are hungry to hear the president speak about. but those would be the top two, i think. >> delegate eleanor holmes norton, thank you so much for your time this afternoon. have a great time at the dinner. >> thank you. always a pleasure. the house of representatives thursday voted to make deep cuts in the nation's foot stamp program. the measure narrowly passed. no democrats voted in favor of those cuts. friday's "new york times" called the measure quote, an act of supreme indifference. i want to bring in josh wax at "share our strength," a nonprofit aimed at ending childhood hungry and tatiana
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gaines turner. thank you both for being here this afternoon. >> thanks for having us on. >> thank you for having me. >> tatiana, i want to start with you. the caricature a lot of those on the right paint is of people who sit around waiting for a handout. but you work and your husband works. what does government assistance mean for you to be able to run your household? >> it means the world to us as well as many other families across the united states. it's very important for us to be able to get food stamps to help us to get nutritional meals for me and my children. a lot of times people don't understand that we are the dollars and cents and the faces behind what's going on with food stamps right now. i would like to thank congressman mcgovern for standing up and being a champion
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for low income families and recipients who rely on the food stamps benefit. >> you and your husband both work, as i mentioned. the reality of today's wages is that sometimes even with two incomes, it's very hard to make ends meet. so are the food stamps a way for you to help bridge the gap in your household? how would you explain to someone who may not understand why someone who's working needs food stamps, why your family needs this? >> let's first talk about, we have to first nip in the bud the fact that a lot of people who are working, such as me and my husband, we make minimum wage and a lib -- maybe $10 and over. you figure once you pay your bills, once you take care of your rent and things like that, then you have to buy food. a lot of people don't understand that people who work also need help with food stamps as well as people who don't work. i can't emphasize enough on how much it is important for people who's listening at home to
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understand, that's just -- let me paint a picture for you for a second here. if you have a child with medical disabilities who require certain specific diet, there's no -- the corner stores in low income neighborhoods most of the time don't carry the things which we need. so we have to travel outside of our neighborhoods in order to get nutritional fruits, vegetables and food. i'm not sure of the congressman person's name who said it. but if i could, i would shake her hand and thank her for standing on the floor with that caviar and that steak because people think that people on food stamps, as you just said, we're lazy, we don't want to work and that's not true. we are very smart, intellectual. we cut coupons and we like the better things for our children just like everyone else. one in five children go to bed every night without the adequate meal that they need. >> and i want to ask josh about that, follow up about the issue of children. by the way, that congresswoman
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was jackie spire who brought the caviar on the house floor. we heard tatiana talking about children, about her children and how this affects them. your group deals primarily with childhood hunger. a report you put out earlier this year says, households with children are nearly twice as likely to be food insecure as households without children. over 3.9 million american families have children that have not had access to adequate, nutritious foods. what kind of impact could this have on our children? >> let's set the context. this bill came two weeks after the federal government released statistics that said there were 17 million households in this country that at some point during the last year didn't get enough to eat because they couldn't afford it. it came just two days after the census bureau said there were still record numbers of kids in poverty. it comes after four decades of bipartisan support for the s.n.a.p. program.
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you heard from bob dole this week. this is a federal program that is working, that is lifting millions of families out of poverty. what is the house republicans' response? it's to pass a bill that, quite frankly, is going to have a drastic increase in the number of americans who are struggling with hunger in this country. who are those recipients? many of them are hard-working americans like tatiana. 92% of them are either kids, disabled, the elderly as well, or families that are working. >> and tatiana i want to make sure you get the last word on this. what would you say to one of the lawmakers who voted to strip the funding from the food stamp program this week? what would your message to them be today? >> my message would be that when they sit down for lunch or dinner, i want them to understand how it is. for you to sit across the table from your child and say, there isn't enough. i want them to be able to
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understand, what's the frustration for a single parent to be able to go into the supermarket and not know whether they're going to pay their light bill or their gas bill. i want them to be able to sit back and say, theianna gaines turner is very strong, independent, like many other working americans across the world. we don't want a handout. we hand a hand-in. come to the table. don't judge us. come talk with us. this bill that you're about to cut 40 million people, that means there's going to be a mother or a father or a senior citizen somewhere that won't be able to get an adequate meal. there will be a child going to sleep hungry. if we live in the richest america that there is, that is sickening, it is troubling and i want them to close their eyes and remember my children's faces every time they make a cut because they're cutting programs that low income families rely on on the back of people who are already struggling.
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>> we are looking at the faces of your beautiful children. you have a lovely family. thank you so much for being here. and it's tianna, i'm sorry. i called you tatiana. >> no problem. >> thank you both for being here this afternoon. coming up, deadly weather in mexico. floodwaters are now stranding zoo animals as well as residents. new dales on the double disaster from two hurricanes. can i invite you to a stand-up comedy show tonight at 8:00. it's called "the muslims are coming." they're hilarious. >> a new film tracks muslim comics. the film's directors join us live. plus, fall begins tomorrow and it's time to turn to a centuries-old weather prediction system, the farmer's almanac. when you have diabetes like i do,
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for years, 197 years, to be exact, we've been reading the farmers almanac for home-grown tips on how to raise farm animals and predict the weather. tomorrow marks the first official day of fall. and editors of the almanac have a warning, bundle up. this makes me so upset. how brutal a winter are we talking about? joining me now on the phone from maine is peter geiger, editor of "the farmers almanac." thanks for being here. >> thanks for having me. >> i am not a cold weather girl. i despise the winter. let me brace myself. how bad is it going to be this year? >> okay, basically across the country, we're saying it's going
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to be bitterly cold and snow-filled. >> peter, you're killing me. >> i know. but the northwest is going to be dry and a little chilly but have normal temperatures. the west coast, down around california. however, the rest of the country, not looking so good. especially the northern plains, the great lakes and certainly new england. >> and what about for super bowl sunday? sometimes it's held in balmy areas like miami or new orleans. but this year, it's going to be at the meadowlands in new jersey. how bad is it going to be? >> talking about an intense rain, snow and very windy day. that will affect the super bowl day and the game itself because it will be outdoors. however, i am personally willing to bring my snowblower down and clean off the field if they want me to. >> how can you make a prediction so far out? >> we've always had the ability to do it based upon a
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mathematical formula developed in the early 1800s and those who tell us we're anywhere from 75% to 80% accurate. i would be prepared for a messy super bowl. the last couple of super bowls were -- one was in atlanta, one was in dallas and in both cases we talked about ice storms. the problem wasn't the game itself but getting to the game. i think in new jersey, they can handle the movement of bad weather. it's going to make more a more interesting game. >> i don't want to wish ill on you, ubut i certainly hope you'e wrong this time. a newly declassified report just out reveals that in 1961, two nuclear bombs were accidentally dropped on north carolina. an american b-52 was carrying the weapons which came loose when the plane crashed. apparently all four safety features designed to prevent an accidental detonation worked on
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the bombs but three of the safeties failed on the second. miraculously and thankfully, none of them detonated. the bombs each packed 260 times the explosive power of the bomb that decimated hiroshima and could have hit all the way from north carolina to new york. you're watching msnbc. woman: everyone in the nicu -- all the nurses wanted to watch him when he was there 118 days. everything that you thought was important to you changes in light of having a child that needs you every moment. i wouldn't trade him for the world.
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like carpools... polly wants to know if we can pick her up. yeah, we can make room. yeah. [ male announcer ] space. yes, we're loving this communal seating. it's great. [ male announcer ] the best thing to share? a data plan. at&t mobile share for business. one bucket of data for everyone on the plan, unlimited talk and text on smart phones. now, everyone's in the spirit of sharing. hey, can i borrow your boat this weekend? no. [ male announcer ] share more. save more. at&t mobile share for business. ♪ ♪ we go, go, we don't have to go solo ♪ ♪ fire, fire, you can take me higher ♪ ♪ take me to the mountains, start a revolution ♪ ♪ hold my hand, we can make, we can make a contribution ♪
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♪ brand-new season, keep it in motion ♪ ♪ 'cause the rhyme is the reason ♪ ♪ break through, man, it doesn't matter who you're talking to ♪ [ male announcer ] completely redesigned for whatever you love to do. the all-new nissan versa note. your door to more. ♪ if congress fails to strike an agreement by the september 30th deadline, what would a government shutdown actually look like the next day? only essential programs would stay open. so around half of government workers would be left at home while those who do work wouldn't be paid until the shutdown ends. passports and student loans would not be processed and national parks would close. security checks would be sent, taxes collected, of course, and the post office would stay open. all the while, members of congress would stay in their place and wouldn't miss a dime.
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some 24 people have been shot in chicago in the last two days alone. at least 11 people just last night. on thursday night, 13 people were shot in a single incident including this little face you see right here, a 3-year-old boy who is still in critical condition. meanwhile, chicago mayor rahm emanuel is calling for an end to the violence. i'm mara schiavocampo in for craig melvin. here's a quick look at the other stories making news now. three members of the international security assistance force were killed in eastern afghanistan today. no information yet on the nationalities of the casualties. according to nato officials an afghan soldier may be responsible for those killings. just the laters insider attack on foreign soldiers. turning to mexico, lives lost in devastating flooding. so far, at least 97 people have died and some 50,000 have been forced from their homes. the flooding is also destroying vegetation and threatening the lives of local animal, including some at a zoo.
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take a look at this. giraffes, zebras and other animals caught in the floodwaters. according to local media, 12 of the animals died in that deluge. and it's tv's big night, the emmys are tomorrow. many washington centric shows are center stage. moments after nina davuluri was crowned miss america. tweets were sent out like this. she is not muslim nor do we have any indications if she is a terrorist. it's comments like this that have inspired muslim american comedians traveling the country using their humor to combat islamophobia ] . it's called "the muslims are
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coming." take a look. ♪ muslims, you know they are a coming ♪ >> we just barely let the gays in recently. the fact the muslims are coming in, things are getting crowded in the green room. >> with me now, dean obeidallah, you guys are comedians, i'm guessing you had a serious goal. what was your aim in doing this? >> our goal was the misinformation, the demonization and the hate we hear from the right. republican party, certainly religious leaders, demonizing muslims to the point we were like, it's enough. we have to do something. and we used our skill set to go out on the road and meet people. >> you talk about people on the right. but i have to say, i hear reasonable people from all sides of the political spectrum often
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expressing some level of islamaphobia. seems like this is the last acceptable form of discrimination. >> we see reasonable people like bill maher doing it, mainstream folk use it on all different kind of networks. we've even seen guests on msnbc use this kind of language in more subtle forms. you don't even have to go that far to the right to see it. it's everywhere. even as the tweet from miss america will show you. >> one of the ways i felt like we saw it a lot was all these accusations about obama being a muslim and everybody vigorously denied that he was but nobody said, so what if he is? back to your project, you went to parts of the country. i don't want to offend anyone, but that may not be so welcoming to this kind of act. what did you find when you went
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to some of the more remote corners of the country? >> i had preconceptions going to the south, that people were going to be more conservative, more bigoted and they weren't. they were pleasantly surprised. that's why i say it's the leaders on the right. you see them frankly on fox news. these type of leaders. the people we met were open minded but they had questions for us, like why don't we hear you denounce terrorism more and more. we have to do that. we didn't think we had to. there were specific questions for her. >> why are you dressed like that if you're muslim? >> they expected you to be fully covered. >> to walk around with a sheet on my face. that's what they expect of muslim women in the united states. it's very shocking to learn that there are secular muslims that live in the united states that look like me, that go out and have fun and go bowling, as we do in the movie. >> you bowl? >> muslims bowl.
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it's huge news. >> and so what was the reaction? as you went around the country and how many places did you visit? >> a bunch of states in the south, georgia, tennessee, mississippi, alabama. in the west, utah, idaho. >> what did you hear from people who saw you perform? >> the big thing was, if it was a question, it was that, why don't we hear you denounce terrorism more? then we went to places in the south where they wanted to fix their own reputation like, we're not all bigots. in gainesville, florida, where the koran burner is, they say, this doesn't represent us. >> and our approach, we had a friendly lly approach, we would out pastries and candy because we wanted people to feel open and be able to ask us questions. not all the stuff you see that's
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bigotry is just ignorance and a lack of exposure. the onus is on all of us not to confuse those things. >> you mention the lack of exposure. i feel like that's the case with whether it's homophobia or racism, a lot of people aren't exposed to diversity and when they meet people of those groups, they say, oh, you're more like me than i thought. >> we wanted to expose ourselves to people, just going and meeting people. we met so many people who had never met a muslim before in their life. north carolina just passed an anti-sharia law. that's the misinformation. they use it to create a phantom menace. their biggest question is, why don't we hear you denouncing the terrorists out there and that would make us feel so much better about you.
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>> if every american could have a muslim friend, every american would think that muslims are fluffy and adorable. >> you are both clearly fluffy and adorable. >> we will be your friend, america. >> what's your handle? >> @deanofcomedy. >> how can people see the film? >> "muslims are coming," it's on itunes, amazon downloads. and then next sharia law will come to america. >> thank you both for your time. i appreciate it. and good luck with the film. >> thank you. it's a battle of political wills over a possible government shutdown and the nation's new health care law. president obama and house speaker john boehner squaring off again this week. let's take a listen. >> one republican senator called shutting down the government over the affordable care act the dumbest idea i've ever heard. i agree with him.
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i mean, i don't know -- it's like they do this every six months. isn't it? >> our message to the united states senate is real simple. the american people don't want the american government shut down and they don't want obama care. >> this latest impasse in washington, does it all come down to a clash of personalities on capitol hill? let's get right to our brain trust. angela rye is a political strategist and principal of impact strategies. back with us, david rohde and matt welsh, editor-and-chief at "reason" magazine. angela, i want to start with you. it was president obama and john boehner yesterday, the president calling the speaker and telling him there will be no negotiation over the debt ceiling. who's really dealing from a position of strength here? >> i think the president is dealing with a position of strength in part because he's just been consistent. the only thing that speaker boehner has consistently done is caved to the farthest right wing
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of the party and have yet the 42nd vote on repealing obama care or incorporating that in some way, shape or form into legislation -- it doesn't have a chance to go anywhere. when it gets to the senate, senator reid has already said it's dead on arrival. so this is really a pointless kind of exercise. >> and, matt, to angela's point, we essentially know that the senate is going to strip that language from what they're getting, strip the whole obama care funding association. why are they doing this? >> because there's a civil war within the republican party and john boehner is fighting on one side of it and ted cruz in the senate is fighting the other side saying republicans have to show that they're really, really, really trying to defund obama care. i think they're also trying to get better negotiating position on extending the debt ceiling because obama can't just say, it's extended. he can't just declare ahead of the time, there will be no negotiations on this. they have to come up with some kind of an agreement.
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republicans think that they can get a better leveraging position by threatening other things. but i think it's going to be a public relations problem for them. >> david, the president has been obstinate, too, saying he's not going to negotiate on certain things. when it comes down to it, he will probably have to compromise on some level. what is it he's most likely to compromise on? >> somewhere on the debt. there could be cuts, spending going on. but back to boehner. the president's in a better position -- i think john boehner's job is on the line here. there's 80 house republicans that held a gun to his head and he let this deal in january pass which raised income taxes that the president wanted. that infuriated the far right. and he's sort of given in, i think, because his speakership could be the price that he has to pay if he doesn't go through with this extreme approach to obama care. >> we're going to pick up with more on the other side of this break. up next, with our brain trust, thawing tensions between the u.s. and iran.
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starting at 49 dollars. we're back with our brain tuscaloosa, angela rye from impact strategies, reuters columnist david rohde and "reason" magazine's matt welsh. angela, if it's clear that no one is going to benefit from a government shutdown, why are we seeing this constant brinksmanship and whose interest are lawmakers ultimately operating? >> i think that's a great question. it's clearly not the interest of the american people. i've been having this conversation ad nauseam lately. the government shutdown being tied to obama care which is going to be implemented october 1st has already been addressed by senator coburn that this is going to have no impact on the funding of the overall obama care policy. the members who are adamantly
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opposed to it say they have this terrific health care plan. they're not benefiting their constituents, particularly those that are underserved and low income. >> david, we've seen the house gop tie a lot to obama care. they voted 42 times now to repeal it. now they're tying all the budget negotiations to obama care. is there a political precedent for this? have we seen this kind of action take place on another issue in the past? >> not that i can think of. it reflects the sort of extreme polarization of our country, if you will, fox on one side and msnbc on another. i spoke about this earlier. i think the white house has to try to make sure this is implemented well, obama care, and continue talking about the positive parts of this bill. there's a huge part of this country, not a majority, but a large number of republicans, that see this as destroying the country. they are terrified of obama care. and as this sort of talk show politics dominates our political
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debate, this is the kind of thing that can happen. i don't think these republicans think they're doing something wrong. i think they believe they're saving the country from this terrible law. >> when you talk to people who live in countries with universal health care, they're completely dismayed by this. they don't understand what all the fuss is about. if you could articulate the concerns of the right, what is it specifically that they are most concerned about that is causing them to go to such extremes to try to stop this? >> it's this fear of this endlessly encroaching government. the cutbacks to food stamps, that there's an ever-grow welfare state, that everybody's dependent on the government. this is what they see in obama care, it's the biggest example of the thing they fear most. >> and a lot of the things that president obama's promised with obama care have not turned out to be true. if you like your health plan, you're going to be able to keep
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it. that's patently not true. it's going to cost x amount, it's cost more than x. and the predictions were made by these same people. obama care has a ceiling of popularity. that is a political reality. that affected the 2010 elections. republicans are betting that they can tap into that unpopularity in the 2014 elections. and as we start to roll out the exchanges and everything else happening in the next couple of weeks, we'll see if that's going to be true or not. >> david, let's switch gears to iran. we learned this week that president obama and president rouhani are actually penpals unbeknownst to us prior to now. and it seems there's a charm offensive going on which is lovely. but do you think it's going to amount to anything? are relations with iran and any compromises that they may be willing to make? >> it could. we don't know what's going on here. rouhani is relatively more moderate. he's clearly better than ahmadinejad, the past president. and the best things that could
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come out of this could be a deal to limit iran's nuclear program and also get iran's help in syria. this chemical deal in syria is helpful. we don't want the chemical weapons to fall into the hands of jihadists. iran can help there. obama should start direct talks with iran, it would be a historic thing. but to keep the sanctions in place until there's a real deal, there's a real freeze in uranium enrichment by iran. but we should trust to rouhani. he claims he's a moderate trying to outflank the conservatives in his country. let's see if it's true. >> how likely is it the president will have enough political backing to follow his foreign policy objectives while his domestic programs remain under fire? >> well, i think that there are some challenges with the domestic programs. we've been talking about health care because people don't understand them. we have the opposition, the gop, taking advantage of folks' lack of understanding. but i don't think that means that he's going to lack support
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for a foreign policy agenda. we've seen bipartisan support for his challenges with syria and that, i think, will continue as he decides to see what happens with iran and whether or not this is really just words or if the actions will also match up with the new president's words. but right now, it's just potential. he was only sworn in a little over a month ago. >> we'll pick this conversation up after the break. up next, president obama's has his legacy at stake. we'll ask the brain trust how he handles the coming days. picasso painted one of his master works at 56. doris taerbaum finished her first marathon at 50. not everyone peaks in their twenties. throughout their lives. passion keeps them realizing possibilities. an ally for real possibilities. aarp. find tools and support at aarp.
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well, we are back with the brain trust. angela, david and matt. thank you all for coming back. matt, just quickly to touch upon iran before we go to a different subject, what do you think is the likelihood that he is -- their new president is going to meet with president obama at the u.n. this week? and how significant would this kind of photo-op of the hand shake be? >> i think pretty likely.
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pretty insignificant. ultimately. photo-opes and hand shakes, we have seen a lot of them and moderate iranian presidents in the last 30 years with promise and fizzled. very difficult to do ploem sy as there's a lack of overall approach to foreign policy in the middle east. we careen from crisis to you're developing weapons and we're mad about it thing one after another. >> angela, i want to turn back to domestic politics. we have been talking a lot about a government shut down and stripping obama care of the funding, but is the real potential crisis the debt ceiling and should be focusing on and potential of defaulting on the obligations? >> i don't believe that a debt ceiling crisis is going to happen. i think you are going to find promise there. the harder challenge, i really believe is the government shut down issue because speaker boehner as we have talked about
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backed himself in to a corner. unless he's willing to go back and reconsider this when the senate strips the provision out of the bill related the obama care defunding, i don't see -- and then him, of course, backing out of needing a majority of the republicans in violation of the hastert rule, i don't see how he gets out of that so that's the real political crisis. i don't think we'll have a debt ceiling challenge here but find a compromise. >> david, i read a quote of a republican lawmaker saying a coach plans a football game and it's only a couple of plays and comparining that to what's happening now. do they have a grand strategy in the box is smaller and smaller in terms of good options for the gop. do you think there's a broader strategy how to win the battle? >> i think they think there are red state democrats from arkansas and louisiana and named specifically to somehow vote to defund obama care in the senate and i think they might somehow
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win in the senate. ted cruz will rally the republicans and a handful of democrats. that's not going to happen. harry reid will wait as long as possible to push this measure back to the senate without defunding obama care in it. what does boehner do then? the clock is ticking. 24 hours or so until, you know, october 1st and he's got to blink or the republicans are blamed for the government shutting down. >> and that was actually my next question to you, matt. if this does come down to a government shutdown or default, do the republicans own this or anywhere for them to share the blame? >> we are not going to default on the debt. you cannot raise the debt ceiling for debt ceiling and would haven't to default on the debt. we have done it in the past. this is not going to happen. if it does it's for three hours as with the fiscal cliff on january 1st and play kabuki politics until then. the end game for republicans is to get a continuing resolution
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passed, a debt ceiling passed and not an increase in actual spending. so more like the sequester deal. that is actually from their long-term perspective bit of a victory or at least holding the line against -- >> we have very little time here. if we have a government shutdown is this going to be on their shoulders? >> i think the public will view it that way. the media will hammer them that way and the republicans said it will be interpreted that way. i think it would. >> political risk in what's happening now. thank you both for your time and angela, thank you, as well. angela, david and matt. well, thank you all for watching at home. i'll be back tomorrow. my guests include congressman barber and former mayor dinkins and watch "meet the press." until then, up next "disrupt"
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